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Skarner Build Guide by CaptCrit

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League of Legends Build Guide Author CaptCrit

Skarner - Tearing You Limb From Limb

CaptCrit Last updated on March 20, 2012
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Offense: 0

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 9

Chapter 1

Guide for Skarner - The Crystal Vanguard
Please comment and try the build and strategies before voting. Thank you.

Last Updated: 3/20/2012

Centuries ago, there lived a race of creatures as ferocious as they were wise. The brackern were unusual beings blessed with the earth's primal magic, embodied in the form of crystals. Their kind knew of an arcane ritual to bind their life's essence to a crystal, communing with the magic embedded in it. With this power, the brackern thrived in the Odyn Valley, protecting both creatures and crystals alike. Despite attacks from those looking to claim the primal magic, it seemed that nothing could get past the brackern's defenses. Nothing, that is, until the devastation of a Rune War.

A vicious battle was fought near the Odyn Valley and the unleashed chaotic magic poisoned the crystals. The brackern began to grow sick and die, and no amount of defensive magic could reverse the effects. To avoid extinction, their only course was to hibernate underground until the wars stopped. The strongest, most intelligent brackern hibernated closer to the surface to awaken first and assess the world's condition for the return of their race. The recent mining operations and violent escalation in Kalamanda were enough to awaken the first of these vanguards. When Skarner burst to the surface, he lashed out in anger and confusion. Reason eventually won out over his anger when he realized that the agents of the League who found him were simply functionaries. Skarner was invited to the Institute of War to share the brackern's story. In return, the summoners told him about the history that his kind had slept through. Much had been done to curb the unchecked use of magic since the Rune Wars, but it was obvious that the world was not yet safe for his kind to reawaken. For now, however, there is a place where Skarner can use his power to change the world into one to which his kind could eventually return: the League of Legends.

"The humans have not yet learned to control their magic - what once was Kalamanda is now a crystal scar on the history of this world."

Table of Contents
I. Preface
II. Introduction
III. Skill Explanations
IV. Summoner Spell Explanations
-- Considerable Summoner Spells
V. Rune Explanations
VI. Mastery Explanations
VII. Core Item Build Sequence
-- Items to Consider
VIII. Play Style and Jungle Route
IX. Patch History
X. Closing

Skarner is a tanky damage dealer that excels in peeling targets and helping chase them down with constant slows. He is great in the jungle as well as solo top, but in my opinion he is best in the jungle. Played right, Skarner will win you games. This build gets you tanky fast to utilize Skarner's awesome ganking potential. Enjoy the guide and good luck in game!

II. Introduction
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Jungle Skarner has exceptionally fast jungle clears thanks to the AOE damage from Crystal Slash and his passive, Energize, which allows him to spam his abilities. His ganks are impressive with the attack and move speed boost from Crystalline Exoskeleton and the constant slow applied from Crystal Slash. Once level 6, his ganks are even stronger with his ultimate, Impale, which can be used to pull targets into towers or stop them from running away. Late game, Skarner is there to secure kills for carries and to tank a lot of damage while dealing a decent amount himself.

- Fast jungle clears
- Great ganks
- Tanky late
- Good farmer/pusher
- He's a ****ing crystal scorpion

- Mana hungry without blue buff until you get a couple items
- Nothing... Skarner is awesome

III. Skill Explanations
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(Passive): Using autoattacks against champions lowers the cooldowns of Skarner's abilities by 1 second and by 0.5 seconds when used against non-champion units. Autoattacks on towers won't reduce cooldowns at all.

This passive is what allows Skarner to constantly spam his abilities. In the jungle, you're able to stand still and constantly proc your passive. When chasing champions, you want to move in between casting Crystal Slash and auto-attacking so as to lower the cooldown to keep the slow applied. TIP: Learning to use the attack-move command (Shift + Right-click) will come in handy for this. This command acts as a right-click, but if you run into a unit, your champion will attack it.

Crystal Slash

(Active): Skarner lashes out with his claws, dealing physical damage to all nearby enemies and charging himself with Crystal Energy for several seconds if a unit is struck. If he casts Crystal Slash again while powered by Crystal Energy, he deals bonus magic damage and slows all targets hit.

Skarner deals 25/40/55/70/85 (+0.8) physical damage to all nearby enemies and charges himself with Crystal Energy for 5 seconds if a unit is struck.

While Skarner is charged, Crystal Slash deals 24/36/48/60/72 (+0.4) additional magic damage and slows by 20/25/30/35/40% for 2 seconds.

This is your bread n' butter spell. Prepare your pinky for some serious mashing, because you will be using this ability A LOT. In the jungle, this is what clears camps so fast and the applied slow is what makes his ganks so scary. TIP: While ganking, if an enemy is behind minions, cast Crystal Slash on the minions to gain a charge of Crystal Energy and continue chasing until you get in range to apply the slow.

I max this first to increase jungle clear times and because the increased slow increases his ganking potential. More slows = less chance for the enemy to escape

Crystalline Exoskeleton

(Active): Skarner gains a shield, and while the shield persists his movement speed and attack speed are both increased.

Skarner is shielded for 70/115/160/205/250 (+0.6) damage for 6 seconds. While the shield persists, Skarner gains 30/35/40/45/50% Attack Speed and 15/17/19/21/23% increased Movement Speed.

What's that? You want a shield, movement speed, and attack speed all in one ability? Well you got it! Crystalline Exoskeleton is everything you could want on a champion like Skarner. Use it to proc your passive more often. Use it to come flying out of the jungle like a bat outta Hell. Use it to chase. Just use it.

I max this second to increase gank potential and to gain some early game tankiness.


(Active): Skarner summons a blast of crystalline energy which deals damage to enemies struck and marks them. Striking enemies will consume the mark to heal Skarner. Killing targets outright will also activate the heal.

Skarner deals 80/120/160/200/240 (+0.7) magic damage to enemies in a line and marks them for 6 seconds.

Striking enemies will consume the mark to heal Skarner for 30/45/60/75/90 (+0.3). Killing targets outright will also activate the heal. (Each activation heals for 50% less.)

A little bit of damage, a little bit of heal. Who doesn't like that? While this ability can be extremely useful in clutch situations, I don't find it necessary to level until your other abilities are maxed. You will get tanky rather quickly from runes, items, and Crystalline Exoskeleton. If you find yourself taking too much damage in jungle or from ganks, it might be worth grabbing a level in this. Other than that, I say leave it alone.


(Active): Skarner suppresses an enemy champion and deals magic damage to it. During this time, Skarner can move freely and will drag his helpless victim around with him. When the effect ends, Skarner's target will be dealt additional damage.

Skarner suppresses an enemy champion for 1.75 seconds and deals 100/150/200 (+0.5) magic damage. Skarner can move freely during this time, and will drag his helpless victim around with him. When the effect ends, Skarner's target will be dealt an additional 100/150/200 (+0.5) magic damage.

This is Skarner's signature ability. It's great for peeling targets and all around scaring the s*** out of your enemies. When ganking, either use this at the beginning to pull the target into your teammates/tower or save it for when they start to run away... because they will run away.

On a side note, when the enemy is suppressed, Skarner cannot Flash, cast Fracture, or auto-attack. Crystal Slash and Crystalline Exoskeleton can still be used, however. Champions with cleanse abilities, like Alistar's Unbreakable Will, Olaf's Ragnarok, and Gangplank's Remove Scurvy will break Impale's suppression effect. Of course, Cleanse and Quicksilver Sash will break the effect as well.

IV. Summoner Spell Explanations
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Early game, Smite helps you clear jungle quicker and keep your health at a reasonable level. Late game, Smite secures Dragon, Baron, and other important buffs. It's the best summoner spell for junglers, take it.


Wanna look like a badass and Flash/ult someone? Well this is the tool for you! Great for initiating fights and getting out of those sticky situations, Flash is useful in a lot of cases. Grab it and have fun pulling their carry into your team when they least expect it.

Considerable Summoner Spells
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Nothing is more pleasurable than pulling an enemy from halfway in lane all the way back to a tower. With Ghost and Crystalline Exoskeleton active, you can do just that. I don't find Ghost nearly as useful as Flash, but I can see why you would use it.

V. Rune Explanations
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Greater Mark of Attack Speed

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Health

Greater Mark of Attack Speed: You want these early game for faster jungle clears. They allow you to proc your passive more often and spam Crystal Slash even more. Simple as that.

Greater Seal of Armor: You're in jungle, jungle creeps hurt without some armor. Grab these to keep your health high and reap the benefits later.

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: Your job is to be tanky and to help your team score kills. You already have armor, so these runes give you scaling magic resist to help you through mid-game where mages will hurt you the most.

Greater Quintessence of Health: Again, early game tankiness is awesome. These give you a cool +78 health early game to help you stay high health through jungle clears and ganks.

VI. Mastery Explanations
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A 0/21/9 mastery build. It's pretty ideal for a tanky jungler.


A Summary of What You're Getting
  • +20% Duration of shrine, relic, quest, and neutral monster buffs
  • +3% Maximum health and -10% duration of incoming disables (stacks multiplicatively)
  • +30 Health
  • 6 Damage returned against minion and monster attacks
  • Improved Smite
  • Improved Flash
  • –1 Second recall cast time
  • +6 Armor
  • +0.45% Cooldown Reduction per Level (8.1% at level 18)
  • +2 Health Regen per 5 seconds
  • +6 Health per Level (108 at level 18)
  • +3 Mana Regen per 5 seconds
  • +12 Mana per Level (216 at level 18)
  • +3% Movement Speed when above 70% health
  • +2 Reduced damage from minions and monsters

VII. Core Item Build Sequence
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Your core item build is:
Philosopher's Stone

That's right, double gold/10 jungle. Doing so will help you reach your end game build faster than the other jungler and hopefully faster than most of the enemies. Wit's End works with your passive and gives you that delicious magic resist that you crave. Glacial Shroud gives you just the right amount of CDR for Crystal Slash and also gives you armor and mana which you need.

Most games end by the time I reach these items. If not, you transition into your late game build which adds tankiness, damage, and utility.

Late Game Build

You want to keep that Philosopher's Stone for as long as possible to benefit from the gold it gives you, and then sell it off later to buy more major items. Rylai's Crystal Scepter adds onto the slow already applied from Crystal Slash and gives you damage and health. This should be bought directly after your core build to add a huge chunk of health with your already high resistances. Next comes Atma's Impaler, which adds tankiness and damage, all of which is good for you. Finish Frozen Heart and Randuin's Omen for the utility to shut down their AD carry by slowing their attack speed to nothing.

You're pretty tanky, but not unkillable. You have a decent amount of damage and utility to help your team in fights. Play smart and dominate.

Items to Consider
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Trinity Force: Maybe your team isn't doing enough damage. Happens from time to time, right? Grab a Trinity Force to help your problems. Every stat can be used by Skarner and the Sheen proc should be constantly up because of Crystal Slash.

Will of the Ancients: TESTING

Rod of Ages: TESTING

Guinsoo's Rageblade: TESTING

Abyssal Mask: TESTING

Shurelya's Reverie: Popularized by TheOddOne, this item is great for initiating teamfights, as it allows you to dive in faster for Impale. It's a great item, but I prefer to go tankier and leave this item for my support.

Aegis of the Legion: A great early game, tanky, support item. Preferred by some, but I feel tanky enough with the items that I get and would rather leave this to my support.

Force of Nature: Good against caster heavy teams. You have enough health to make this item useful and may switch it with Atma's Impaler, trading some damage for added tankiness.

Quicksilver Sash: Getting wrecked by a Warwick's Infinite Duress or Malzahar's Nether Grasp? Quicksilver Sash is what you want. It acts as a Cleanse built into an item. Gives some nice magic resist and is overall awesome.

Banshee's Veil: Again, good against caster heavy teams. Grabbing an early Catalyst the Protector may be useful to sustain through mid game and then can be finished. The added health works with Atma's Impaler and the magic resist adds onto what you have already.

Ninja Tabi: These boots are extremely useful against AD heavy teams. They give you armor and a sweet 10% reduced damage from non-turret based auto-attacks.

VIII. Play Style and Jungle Route
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Your jungling route will be pretty standard. I don't have a video of myself, but I take the same route as TheOddOne.

Once you have double buff, look for ganks. If none are open, go back to farming or go back and shop. Mid game is where you want to be the most aggressive, because you should be tanky enough to Impale their carries into your own team for kills. Carry into a late game or wait for the enemy team's surrender.

(This is a full game commentary from TheOddOne showing his jungle route and the proper way to play Skarner. This was not made by me and is slightly outdated, but it gets the point across.)

IX. Patch History

January 17, 2012
  • Crystal Slash mana cost adjusted to 20/22/24/26/28 from 15 at all levels
  • Crystal Slash slow decreased to 20/25/30/35/40% from 25/30/35/40/45%
  • Impale cooldown increased to 130/120/110 from 110/100/90

October 19, 2011
  • Attack speed per level increased to 2.1% from 1.44%
  • Energize will no longer activate when attacking turrets.
  • Crystal Slash mana cost decreased to 15 at all ranks from 22/24/26/28/30
  • Fracture will now heal Skarner if Fracture kills its target.
  • Impale duration increased to 1.75 from 1.5 seconds

September 14, 2011
  • Crystal Slash:
    Base physical damage increased to 25/40/55/70/85 from 20/35/50/65/80.
    Base magic damage increased to 24/36/48/60/72 from 20/32/44/56/68.
  • Fracture:
    Missile speed increased to 1800 from 1600.

August 9, 2011 Added (Original Stats)
  • Crystal Slash: Skarner lashes out with his claws, dealing physical damage to all nearby enemies and charging himself with Crystal Energy for several seconds if a unit is struck. If he casts Crystal Slash again while empowered by Crystal Energy, he deals bonus Magic Damage and slows all targets hit.

  • Crystalline Exoskeleton: Skarner gains a shield and while the shield persists his movement speed and attack speed are both increased.

  • Fracture: Skarner summons a blast of crystalline energy which deals damage to enemies struck and marks them. Any further damage dealt to marked targets by Skarner will allow him to consume the mark to heal himself.

  • Impale (Ultimate): Skarner suppresses an enemy champion and deals magic damage to it. During this time, Skarner can move freely and will drag his helpless victim around with him. When the effect ends, Skarner's target will be dealt additional damage.

  • Energize (Passive): Basic attacks lower the cooldowns of Skarner's abilities by 1 second against champions and 0.5 seconds against non-champions.

There it is. A guide to Skarner. You're going to have fun, you're going to win games, and you're going to look cool doing it as freaking crystal scorpion. Have fun summoners!

Thanks to SixSonatas for the build format. Format can be found at SixSonatas: The Revolutionary Build Format of Sophisticated Guides

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